What is fly-tipping - All you need to know

Fly-tipping is the only offence in which the perpetrators (private landowners) are legally responsible for trash disposal. Property owners can be punished under existing rules if they do not collect fly-tipped garbage soon enough.Local authorities are in charge of investigating and removing smaller-scale tipping events on public property, and they may also examine occurrences on private property. On privately owned land, though, owners are still responsible for removing the garbage.

Two-thirds of all farms are affected by fly-tipping. When an illegal deposit of garbage happens on private property, it is the landowner's obligation to retrieve the unlawfully deposited garbage, which may be costly and time-consuming. It can be harmful to human health, animals, and cattle, especially if on common walking routes, in addition to having consequences for landowners. It has the potential to damage waterways and contaminates land in some situations.

Where did the name fly-tipping come from?

Keep Britain Tidy defines fly-tipping as "the unauthorized disposal of any trash on lands that do not have permission to accept it." The word "on the fly" was first used in 1851 to imply "on the move," according to the OED. Fly-tipping was coined when this phrase was combined with the process of tipping something out.

There are four common types of fly-tippers

  • Waste left on the street outside of collection periods by businesses or residences
  • Businesses that fail to establish up a commercial garbage pickup agreement and dump their trash in black garbage bags on the street or in containers reserved for residents only.
  • Businesses or people that leave large goods on the street without making a bulky trash collection appointment are breaking the law.
  • Trash is collected by rogue traders and improper garbage collectors, who then dump it unlawfully.

If you need help with waste removal due to fly tippers then the Busters group can help you.

When you have large volumes of rubbish, either on a one-off occasion or for regular removal, it helps to bring in the rubbish removal experts.

Why do people fly-tip?

Fly-tipping is usually due to a combination of laziness and a desire to save money. It might be costly to have your garbage collected. Self-disposal of garbage at a local household waste recycling centre can also be costly. Some people believe that by depositing their trash on public roadways or private land, they may avoid these charges. There have been several instances of persons fly-tipping on private car parks and roads, obstructing the path for adjacent homes.

Why is fly-tipping bad?

Fly-tipping is unlawful for a variety of reasons, including the presence of undesired trash on your property. It can be hazardous; any sharp objects in the area where it has been deposited can endanger both humans and animals. There have been instances where fly-tippers have deposited construction trash in the neighbourhood, causing dogs to be harmed while out on a stroll. Animals ingesting garbage or being caught or wounded in it pose a threat to local wildlife. Illegal dumping can also have an impact on our pleasure of a location. It has the potential to convert a scenic place into a dumping ground that no one wants to visit.

Much of the garbage dumped on the ground may be recycled. It might be properly sorted and recycled if it was transported to a proper home trash recycling centre. Toxic chemicals might be present in uncontrolled illicit garbage, posing a threat to the environment, wildlife, and even humans.

What happens to the fly-tipped waste?

Sadly, the owner is typically responsible for removing the fly-tipped garbage. If you are unlucky enough to still have garbage left on your property, you may well be able to have part of it removed by your local municipality. Otherwise, you'll probably have to pay a site clearance company to dispose of it.

How to prevent fly-tipping

Fly-tipping occurs frequently as a result of people attempting to avoid paying for their garbage to be collected by a qualified and authorized waste collector, such as Commercial Waste Services, so that it may be properly disposed of. However, if you are uninformed of trash rules, several forms of fly-tipping may occur accidentally. What can you do to avoid this from happening again?

Know your waste and recycling collection times

The majority of fly-tipping occurrences occur when garbage or recycling is dumped on the street outside of pickup periods. Clean streets are necessary for creating a pleasant environment in which companies may thrive. While interior bins and containers are the ideal methods to store business trash, we recognize that space in a major city like Westminster is frequently restricted. As a result, some establishments will be required to place bags on the street for pickup (for now).

Waste that cannot be placed on the street for collection

Toxic and clinical garbage, although accounting for a small percentage of fly-tipping instances, can be among the most harmful and contaminated waste. Oil, hazardous chemicals, asbestos sheets, syringes, and medicine are all examples. This sort of garbage must be brought to a professional for disposal and cannot be left on the street. These materials must be handled with specialized equipment and appropriate receptacles like bins or containers.

Restrict access to your land with the installation of gates or barriers

Limit access to your property through the construction of gates or obstacles, which would be carefully positioned, dirt bunds, tree trunks, and stones.

Better site management

This involves keeping your areas clean and getting rid of the tipped waste as soon as possible. it also includes ensuring that your gates are closed or locked when they are not being used.


You can do this by installing lights, CCTV cameras or security patrols to control waste lighting and see who did what they did on security cameras.

Work with others including your neighbours, local businesses and any existing partnerships.

Wok with your neighbours to enhance visibility to ensure that fly-tippers are not obscured. Fly-tippers like to carry out their crimes in the shadows.

Report fly-tipping immediately

It's essential to report fly-tipping right away if you see it. Make sure you don't touch or move the garbage because it might be harmful. It may include everything from discarded needles to shattered glass and hazardous substances. Furthermore, by leaving the fly-tipped garbage in its original location, law enforcement officials will be able to identify the perpetrators because there will very certainly be evidence at the spot.

Simply look at the garbage to see what it is made of and how much of it there is. It is critical to snap photographs and record the precise place, date, and time of the fly-tipping.

Make a list of as many facts as you can about the occurrence, including any individuals or cars involved (such as their appearance, registration number, and vehicle make/model). If necessary, you can submit this information to us discreetly. This information will assist us in taking action against fly-tippers and removing the garbage. However, you should avoid confronting fly-tippers because some of them are members of criminal gangs or organized crime.

If your wishing to report someone fly-tipping then you can do so here at Gov.uk

How to report fly-tipping?

There are a number of simple principles that you must follow in order to offer high-quality information, to be secure, and to maintain evidence. If you find garbage that has been fly-tipped after the tippers have departed, please contact:

Use our online fly-tipping reporting form to report fly-tipping.

  • Do not handle the waste since it might include syringes, broken glass, asbestos, poisonous chemicals, or other harmful items.
  • Examine it visually and try to figure out what's inside and how much there is.
  • Make a mental note of its precise position, as well as whether it is in or near water.
  • Do not disrupt the scene; there may be evidence that can assist in identifying the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.

Please make a note of

The day, date, and time you saw the tipping

How many people and what they looked like

What they were doing and what was tipped

Any vehicles involved (make, colour, and registration number)

What kind of view you had and how far away you were

Weather and light conditions

Why it is important to use a licensed waste carrier

Households and companies must have their garbage collected by licensed and certified waste collectors under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Waste can only be collected by these approved service companies. Trash-related criminality and fly-tipping are heavily influenced by illegal waste collectors.

How do you know if a waste carrier is illegal?

One of the most telling indicators is that they won't be able to show you their trash carrier's license or a garbage transfer notice. This is formal documentation verifying the receipt of your garbage and the location to which it is sent.

All waste transporters need to register with the Environment Agency in order to transport and dispose of garbage. You can be sure you're dealing with a registered garbage haulier, by making use of an online public register that lets you look up a business name or registration number. Don't deliver your trash to someone whose waste carrier registration you can't check.

Illegal garbage collectors frequently advertise their services informally, such as through classified advertisements in local papers, spam mail, door-to-door inquiries, or social media. You will be held liable even if your trash is dumped illegally by someone fly-tipping. What appeared to be a good deal on garbage pickup might turn into a costly nightmare.

What else you can do to avoid an unlicensed collector

If you believe your trash carrier is operating without a license, make a detailed record of their information (name, phone number, business card or flyer, vehicle registration number, etc.) so that enforcement action may be done. Please notify us if this occurs.

  • Always insist on seeing proof of where your trash will be disposed of.
  • If a carrier refuses to inform you where your trash will be sent or if you can't confirm their waste carrier registration, don't give it to them.
  • Working with a garbage haulier who calls your business cold is a bad idea.
  • Avoid collectors that promote their services in an informal manner, such as through social media.
  • Do not send your trash to a carrier that offers a fee that appears to be too good to be true. If your trash is discovered fly-tipped someplace, it might be a costly endeavour.

Waste crime

People may load trash into a car and dump it on the ground or beside the road. Illegally dumping trash is a criminal offence. You might face a fine or a jail sentence if you commit a waste offence. It is also illegal to enable fly-tipping to occur. The waste offence is investigated. Cars used or believed to have been used for unlawful waste operations, such as fly-tipping, can be stopped, searched, and seized by police and authorized officials of the Agriculture Department, Environment, and Rural Affairs.

Notify the authorities about waste crimes. It is illegal to discard or burn garbage where it is not permitted, or to enable others to dump waste on your property.

How many fly-tipping prosecutions have there been in England in the last year?

Fly-tipping in England was prosecuted 1,602 times in 2016-17. Despite an overall increase in occurrences, this was down from 2,135 the previous year. A conviction was obtained in 98 per cent of prosecutions. In 2016-17, councils issued 56,000 fixed penalty notices. The fixed penalty notice had a maximum punishment of £400.

Why are there different scales of fine charges?

The varied scales refer to the maximum of fixed penalty notices that each type of court can inflict. The largest monetary punishment issued by a court in 2016 was a little over £25,500 to a Birmingham meat and poultry company. A magistrates' court was used to pursue that case.

The fixed penalty warning is a new authority granted to municipalities in May 2016. Councils can employ them for small-scale fly-tipping and set their own penalties according to the seriousness of the offence. The minimum amount is £120, but they might want up to £400. This is a cost-effective option to going to court, saving the council and taxpayers money over the long term.

What is the difference between littering and fly-tipping?

Litter is defined as little objects (most frequently materials connected with cigarettes, food, and drinks) that are carelessly disposed of or spilt during company activities. Fly-tipping is typically defined as the disposal of large objects or more than one sack of garbage.

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